I think I have gotten over any second thoughts about entertaining guests over at my pile of crumbly bricks I call home. Sadly have a fair number of suburbanite friends with ‘hood issues. But last night I imported three folks from PG County who weren’t family members (having relatives over for holiday meals does not count as entertaining) for an All Saints Day dinner.

It was fun. Curry was cooked, wine was drank, letters were read, and a good time was had by all. No one’s car was stolen. No one was double parked in… like last time. Guests did not hint at anything unsavory being seen on the way to the house. They found parking on the street near the house. Maybe it is now safe enough to invite the Bethesdites.

Parking is the key. Before there was tons of parking. Then the abandoned houses got occupied, by people with cars, sometimes more than 1 car per house. The other problem was directing guests to where NOT to park. There are blocks where I notice the remains of a busted car window more often than others. The northwest corner of my block, bad place. The corner near New Jersey and R, close to the Africare building, also bad. A guess a good host would have guests steer clear of areas where one’s car is more apt to get broken in. Of course, those spots on the street are usually not available as more people (with cars) move into the area. But as more people move in and clean up blocks, there are other safe places for parking.

What I did for the love of compost

…walk 3 miles along the C&O canal in street shoes and no walkman just to buy 2 dozen nightcrawlers for the compost bin. I walked from Georgetown University to Fletcher’s Boat house, not thinking it was so far, because, like, I had passed it a bazillion times before on bike. It was far. But well worth it, and luckily, I was able to find a bus (and taxi) back home.

Why nightcrawlers? Compost. Those suckers eat that stuff we throw in the compost heap, and since my roommie has been cooking and eating a lot of farmer’s market stuff, we got lots of organic waste. I had been trying to get redworms from my own yard but I haven’t seen too many of them and I want my compost to be active. I know that nightcrawlers aren’t the preferred worm but so far those are the worms I could a) get in DC & b) that they were selling.

I know it my fall under TMI, but I cannot describe the joy that leapt into my heart upon seeing one of my nightcrawlers pooping nutrient rich worm poop.

I have a vision. I see a rich garden of tomatoes growing in the back yard, feeding on the compost. I see thyme, peppermint, rosemary, basil (wait why am I growing basil, I don’t use it…) pansies and lemongrass all growing and feasting on chemical free enhanced soil. *smile*

Neighborhood Watch

Private Eyes

They’re watching you.

Private Eyyyyyyes

Watching you

Private Eyes

–Hall & Oates

My neighbor and colleague was telling me of a conversation he had with other neighbors on our street about Oktoberfest. He went to tell them about one of cops he was semi-flirting with, while I stood about absolutely uninterested. The conversation between him and the two female neighbors got on to the type of guys they have seen me and my roommate with, and speculation about our preferences. Don’t let the emptiness of our street fool you, the neighbors are watching.

While keeping a eye out for no-goodniks, loud kids, and what not, they also take in who visits what house, what kids belong to what house, and everything else that happens on the block. This has proven to be good for crime prevention in the case of the attempted break-in at B&L’s house. But upon finding out what my neighbors have gathered on their own it reaffirms that if it is out in the street, it isn’t private.

One woman play about gentrification

As reported in the Washington Post, today through Saturday Ms. Anu Yadav will be performing “‘Capers” at the DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan (2438 18th St. NW). Donations of $5-$10 is the entrance fee. The play is about the different people invovled with gentrification of the Arthur Capper/ Carrollsburg housing project in SE.
According to the Post article, people have been relocated to other parts of the district. There is a question of if those people will ever come back to the ‘Capers area as their old housing project is supposed to be reborn as a mixed income area. To make something mixed income, you gotta get rid of some poor people and replace them with middle class people.